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tripleguy

Gremlins in a Sovie with 18 hp Command

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tripleguy
I seem to have a problem with my Sovereign and I'm not sure where to start. In really cold weather, if I don't let it warm up at half choke, the engine begins to falter when I push the choke in and often, I can't save it - the engine just dies like someone hit a kill switch. Then, it won't crank, turn over, nothing, unless it sits for a good while. I also noticed I am blowing out lights. This leads me to think I have a short somewhere, but how would it be related to the choke? It seems if I let it warm up and run it with a partial/slight choke, it's fine. I've adjusted the governor spring position to the outermost hole already. Don't know what's left. Any ideas?

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timflury
I'm not saavy with the Commands, are they a battery style ignition?? Blowing out lights? Which ones? Your lights should be protected with fuses. How old is your battery? I don't think you have a fuel problem at this point. I would point my finger to electrical. Especially after you tell us it won't even crank over. Is there a voltage regulator on that tractor?? I would connect a volt meter to the battery, remove the spark plug wire and ground it, then crank the machine and observe the reading on the meter. Dadgumit, if I wasn't so busy this weekend, I would be able to swing on over and help you troubleshoot it. (I'm local)

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quote:
Originally posted by tripleguy
1I seem to have a problem with my Sovereign and I'm not sure where to start. In really cold weather, if I don't let it warm up at half choke, the engine begins to falter when I push the choke in and often, I can't save it - the engine just dies like someone hit a kill switch. 2Then, it won't crank, turn over, nothing, unless it sits for a good while. 3I also noticed I am blowing out lights. This leads me to think I have a short somewhere, but how would it be related to the choke? It seems if I let it warm up and run it with a partial/slight choke, it's fine. I've adjusted the governor spring position to the outermost hole already. Don't know what's left. Any ideas?
I numbered them 1. Sounds like a the fuel pump might not be doing it's job or you have a crankcase hose that is worn thru . Do this outside and try by-passing the pump route to the carb and see if engine runs better.You might have to get a hose connector from the hardware store. 2. The blue signal wire to the starter solenoid has a loss in voltage at times and makes people think their starter system is faulty. Other members have had similar problems. I have a work around where by using a Bosch relay and 4 wires you can eliminate that problem. You need to remove the blue wire and then jumper that terminal to the (+) side of battery to innsure your starter jumps to action when you flash the battery. I can then email you a sketch on how to make the work around. 3. As far as blowing headlight , I would start by checking the battery voltage with the engine running to see if you are over charging the system.

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tripleguy
Thanks, I will have to check those items. Probably not thsi weekend - brake job on the truck is beckoning. Tim, maybe some day when you've got a few minutes - I'd really appreciate your advice.

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quote:
Originally posted by timflury
I'm not saavy with the Commands, are they a battery style ignition?? NO electronic Blowing out lights? Which ones? Your lights should be protected with fuses.Circuit breaker How old is your battery? I don't think you have a fuel problem at this point. I would point my finger to electrical. Especially after you tell us it won't even crank over.Not sure but I think there is a pulse fuel pump Is there a voltage regulator on that tractor?? Rectifier regulator on blower housing I would connect a volt meter to the battery, remove the spark plug wire and ground it, then crank the machine and observe the reading on the meter. Still check ble signal wire to starter solenoid, Dadgumit, if I wasn't so busy this weekend, I would be able to swing on over and help you troubleshoot it. (I'm local)He's cheap:D
Tim's a good chap also.

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timflury
What, Huh,,,, Cheap??:D:D I start charging mileage on my housecalls that are more than 10 miles away...hehe Well, if the battery voltage is over 15vdc, then we know for sure the battery is overcharging and the regulator/rectifier is toast. Great tips Bob. I especially like the relay fixdOddOd We're busy next weekend pizza chompin too.

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quote:
Originally posted by timflury
What, Huh,,,, Cheap??:D:D Great tips Bob. I especially like the relay fixdOddOd We're busy next weekend pizza chompin too.
Bring Bill. When we get done with meeting he'll be certified for everything.:D:D:D

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Al
Hi, Right on if chg voltage is over 15 volts and having a bad regulator. This may be the reason the engine dies. These tractors have a circuit breaker instead of a fuse. If the alt is charging like 17volts, lights will fail and the battery especially after charging will draw extra current. If the voltage is high, the current will be too high for the circuit breaker and it will open. When it cools off it will close and the cycle can repeat. The circuit breaker has a terminal that is connected to a flat bimetalic strip of metal. This one metal on one side and a different metal bonded to the other side. The other end contacts a terminal connected to the other post. When excessive current flows through the strip, one metal expands faster than the other and the strip bends and moves away from the contact opening the circuit. When it cools down, it makes contact again. The Commands are run very lean to meet emissions. They like part choke to warm up. Kohler makes a winter kit that has a little stove that fits the manifold and a hose to the air cleaner and a new air cleaner base with a sliding valve in it to block off the air from the blower housing into the air cleaner base. Work well over $100.00 Most of the time you can get by, by taking 2 strips of box cardboard about 2 x 3 inches and slipping them under the air cleaner base between it and the blower housing openings. Take them out in Spring. This will stop the blast of cold air from the blower into the air cleaner. Al Eden

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tripleguy
Thanks guys. I'll be checking this when it warms up here. I went out today and tried to turn it over and it would not crank - nothing on the key. I opened the hood, grabbed the hot wire (the thin one not the one that goes to the starter) that comes off the pos battery terminal and turned the key - it turned over. Sounds like in addition to the overvoltage, I might have a short in there or I jostled the breaker when I jiggled the wire. I was too cold to check as I just finished replacing the master cylinder in my pickup. Brakes still mushy but I'll bleed them tomorrow once the heat wave kicks in.

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Al
Hi, One thing I wanted to add on my previous post, but I had to leave. All of these new generation engines have fixed jet carbs that are calibrated VEEEERY lean. When they set with old gas and the varnish builds up on the tubes and passages, they get leaner and need to be cleaned more often than older carbs. Lets pretend we have a hole or passage that might for example be .010 diameter, a varnish build up of .001 would make a very significant difference in the fuel passed. So if your Command runs really lean you may need to really clean the carb. I had a CH20 in my early sn JD318 prototype and it sat around not being run much and the gas getting aged. It ran like that and we pulled the carb and fixed it. I pulled the engine and sold it. The tractor now has the prototype CH25 we are spec'ing for the 318s and 420s I need to get a few hours on it. As soon as it warms up some, so it can run outside I will probably hook the dyno up and run it for 10 to 15 hrs. Will put a medium load on it and set it up outside the shop so we can work on other things, yet hear it run and have the exhaust outside,also run to the rescue if needed. This will cool it down some once everything wears in and give a little margin if temps would otherwise get close to spec. These carb problems are much more common with gasohol. Kohler has a new all fuel engine that is fuel injected and the fuel system is made of non corrosive materials. It is a closed loop system, this means it uses an oxygen sensor in the muffler which controls the fuel mixture. It is approved for all fuels from straight gas to E85. Fuel consumption down about 35%. Looks like this is the future. John Deere zero turns are supposed to have the Kohler FI engine this year. I Missed it at Louisville as I didn't look the JD stuff over and I don't know if it will be flex fuel, but I think so. Al Eden

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tripleguy
Haven't had a chance to check voltage yet but a copule questions; 1) Assuming it is the rectifier, is there a way to replace it without pulling the engine? Seems the screw on the bottom is located inside of the frame - how do you get a phillips bit on it? 2) For the lights, could I bypass the circuit breaker and just run hot wire from the battery to the switch and a fused line (10 amp or so?)over to the lights, assuming I pick up a ground? 3) What is the proper amp breaker to install and what if anything is it attached to? Mine appears to be just hanging about behind the battery. The wiring job needs some attention.

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Al
HI, If you can't get the screw out, you can probably take the engine mount bolts out and tip the engine enough to get it. I don't think it will be the circuit breaker burning your lights out. I think it will be the regulator rect. and it will be too high of voltage out of it. Your circuit breaker could be bad, but it the regulator output is up around 17 or 18 volts, this will be the major problem. If the breaker is bad, it will open with to little current flow. To try to explain this, Ohms law is E=IR. Let say for ease of numbers that we have a light bulb that is the equivalent of 5 ohms resistance. Now lets take a 10 volt system E=10 volts (E=voltage or electromotive force) 10 (E)= I (current)x R (resistance )5 There fore I=E/R I or current would be 2 amps. 2=10/5. Now power (in watts) is calculated with the formula P=EI. Therefore 20 Watts = 10 (volts) x 2 amps ( current). In our sample case if the voltage jumped to 15 volts, the light would draw I=E/R I= 15/5 or 3 amps. Now at 15 volts the power dissipated in the lamp P=EI P=15 times 3 or 45 watts. See what increasing the voltage to the lamp does to the lamp? By going from 10 volts to 15 volts the lamp is now dissipating 45 watts of energy instead of 20 watts. This will smoke the light bulb. If you do not want to do the 2 steps, you can use the formula P=E squared/ R. Does it in one step. Hope this illustrates why the bulbs will fail with excess voltage. The same thing happens with the circuit breaker. Notice the current through it would jump from 2 amps to 3 amps. Ohms law and the Power formula are the 2 most basic formulas (LAWS)used in DC power calculations. If you want to look further in this, go to my website www.edensltd.com and look under Technical Notes. I have started a rather detailed explanation of DC theory. I am wanting to write some more sections on how to apply the theory to practical trouble shooting. I am so involved in the repower procedures and parts drawings, I don't have time at the present time. Al Eden

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1Litre
Good stuff Al. Thanks Check the terminals under the rubber on the amp gage and cicuit breakerterminals . They neck way down from the open end to the crimped end on the wire. Had one broken there and it took a long time to find.

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tripleguy
Wow - I think the responses are right on. In reading all of this and thinking back on when I bought the tractor, the owner at the time thought the ignition switch was bad because if you cranked it too long, it would stop cranking and I noticed when I let go of the key, the breaker would make a faint click sound as it reset. I did some digging back then and used some Deoxit on the switch and also found the main ground off the battery was bare in one spot from rubbing on the shaft coupling so I also fixed that. It seemed to work, or so I thought. Now it's all starting to make sense. Too much voltage from the rectifier causing the breaker and the lights to blow. Seems to be getting worse instead of better but that might be because the engine has to crank more in cold weather. Happens now after about 7 - 8 cranks. Sounds like I need a new rectifier! Thanks for the responses! I've got a few other Kohler parts to get (valve cover gaskets and carb breather hose) so the timing is good in that sense.

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1Litre
I think you need a new circuit breaker. It is not charging at cranking rpm. Is there any electrical accessories on the tractor that could draw more amps than what Simplicity intended? If the terminals are corroded on the breaker they could be creating heat that trips the breaker. Ken

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